Updated: 17/09/12 : 03:47:03Printable Version
fears of calamity or partial collapse in the Home Help system locally.
A public protest match will take in Sligo on Thursday next at 2pm to Sligo General Hospital.There appears to be some confusion over timings of the protest. The latest information is that protesters will meet at the Markievicz House in Sligo at 1 pm and hand in a petition to the HSE.
A public announcement is overdue from the HSE in each region on the scale of cutbacks to stave off an over-run approaching half a billion in the HSE's total 2012 budget.
A total of 600,000 hours are scheduled to be cut from the Home Help service between now and end of year, it was announced last month.HSE West has made no public statement whatever in the intervening period, which has served to heighten fears.
Each HSE area is being left to make its own announcement on the way various cuts will fall.
This type of 'operational autonomy' for each HSE region could mean that TDs get stonewall responses to Dail questions on the impacts of cutbacks when they commence.
The revised overall Service Plan for the HSE is actually being called an ''Implementation Plan'' with final clearance from the Minister.
A minimum of 230 hours per day will be scalped from the Home Help service locally, SligoToday.ie
Initially, it was suggested that 30-50 ''pairs of hands'' could be taken out of the service each day in Sligo after the cutbacks.
The impact could be significantly worse; there are even fears that the service locally could be facing meltdown.SligoToday.ie also understands that those involved with the service have been cautioned not to engage with media.
Firstly, any sizeable withdrawal in Home Help services could cause the Accident and Emergency services to be swamped with referrals.
The second likelihood is that the Carers Association, a voluntary group, would face unprecedented -- and unsustainable -- demands to support families in need of help in the home.
The third factor is the tardiness of the Department of Social Protection in Longford in processing claims for Carers Benefits and Carers Allowance. This processes payments where family members becomes full time carers, sometimes leaving employment to do so.See Related Articles above Always be first with Sligo news - Never miss a story - Join us on Facebook